Monday, April 4, 2016

The Career Of Ogdensburg Sculptor Sally James Farnham

P2A SJF OgdS&SMonumentWith a career in sculpting a real possibility, Sally James Farnham began bidding against the best in the industry, sometimes vying for selection from among thirty or more competitors. In 1904, for a project near and dear to her heart, she submitted two design proposals — Defenders of the Flag, and the Spirit of Liberty — to the city of Ogdensburg for a soldiers-and-sailors monument, which were quite popular around the country. Of the 16 designs considered, Farnham’s Spirit of Liberty was selected—a combination of bronze and Barre granite, with a female figure standing atop a single column, in all reaching 37 feet high.

Present at the unveiling were an estimated 20,000 visitors, with dignitaries that included Senator George Malby of nearby Canton, and the keynote speaker, Vice-President Charles Fairbanks. As the shroud was lifted to reveal the monument, cheers erupted, a 21-gun salute began, and a band played the “Star Spangled Banner,” creating a moment hometown girl Sally James Farnham would never forget. » Continue Reading.


Monday, April 4, 2016

A Quebec City Olympic Bid Could Include Lake Placid

lake placid olympic jumps

Last Monday, Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume called Lake Placid City Mayor Craig Randall to inform him that he’s visiting the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne, Switzerland to investigate a future Olympic Winter Games bid.

“The IOC’s agenda 2020 emphasized the re-use of existing facilities, so Mayer Labeaume said he planned to reach out to Lake Placid, Calgary and Vancouver to see if it would be acceptable for Quebec City to investigate the use of venues in those three cities for a 2026 Olympic Winter Games bid,” Randall said in a statement sent to the press. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, April 3, 2016

10 Simple Rules About Looking At Art

looking at gallaryI sometimes wonder if there is a little natural fear of going into an art gallery. People sometimes live in a community all their lives and never go look at the art that may be created by their neighbors. Is there apprehension that you might not understand what you see, or know what is going on or say something wrong? I’m going to see if I can dispel that fear.

Here are 10 simple rules about looking at art that will make it an easy, enjoyable experience. » Continue Reading.


Friday, April 1, 2016

Rare Species: The Stinging Rejoinder

stinging nettleHikers, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts are urged to keep an eye out this spring for an elusive plant that may be staging a comeback. The so-called stinging rejoinder, Aculeatus depulsio, although it is a distant cousin of stinging nettle, Urtica dioica, does not actually sting or cause a rash. It is an inconspicuous, native medicinal plant which was over-harvested in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and has been hard to find since that time. However, there is indirect evidence its population could be on the rise.

Its common name comes from the way Aculeatus depulsio works on the nervous system. When taken internally, the stinging rejoinder seems to temporarily inhibit neuronal reuptake of glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter, in the frontal cortex. In plain English, it makes you smarter for a short time, which explains its popularity. It does lose potency quickly, though, and must be used fresh. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Saranac Lake: Meet Our Muslim Neighbors

muslim neighborsThree Muslim community members will lead a panel discussion hosted by the Saranac Lake Ecumenical Council’s Peace with Justice Committee on Monday April 4, at 7 pm in the Cantwell Community Room of the Saranac Lake Free Library.

North Country residents will have an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the five pillars of Islam: faith, prayer, charity, fasting, and pilgrimage. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Wild Whiskers Beard Contest April 7th

old mountain phelpsThe Chapman Museum’s 2016 Wild Whiskers Beard Contest will take place Thursday, April 7, from 6 to 8 pm at Davidson Brothers Brewing Co., 1043 Route 9 in Queensbury.

This year the Beard Contest will include a special category, Mountain Man, inspired by the gnarly beard of legendary Adirondack guide, Old Mountain Phelps. Other categories include: Natural Full Beard, Groomed Full Beard, Partial Beard (including sideburns), Mustache Only, and Whiskerina (Fake Beard). » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Ogdensburg’s Sally James Farnham Sculpted A Beautiful Career

P1A SJF FarnhamDiscovering one’s passion, the driving force that permeates and defines a life, derives from no single formula. Depending on opportunities, it may happen in early childhood, or during one’s college years. And sometimes, much later, as in the case of Sally James of Ogdensburg, the convergence of life experience with a dose of serendipity spawns an awakening — the revelation of a hidden but prodigious talent.

Sally led a privileged life, having been born in 1869 into one of the North Country’s prominent families. (Her given name was Sarah, but she always went by Sally, once a common nickname for Sarah.) Indicative of the James family lifestyle is that many decades after her uncle’s home was built, it became the luxurious Crescent Hotel, with 18 guestrooms.

Sally’s grandfather, Amaziah James, was an attorney, a New York State Supreme Court judge, and later a member of Congress. Her father, Edward, was a colonel during the Civil War and became one of the best-known attorneys in St. Lawrence County. After Edward married Sarah Welles in 1864, they lived in his father’s opulent home, which was tended to by a staff of four servants. Daughters Lucia and Sarah (Sally) were born there, but in December 1879, when the girls were 13 and 10 respectively, Mrs. James died after a lengthy illness. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Rock Solid: The Alden Family of Adirondack Stone Masons

BurhansMansionAdirondack architecture often brings to mind the striking use of wood and other forest materials. But stone was also the choice for many structures, from fireplaces and houses to factories, barns, dams, bridges, even castles and towers. It is literally the bedrock of foundations all over the region.

Rarely mentioned are the names and stories of the stone masons who brought these fantastic designs to life from local quarries, fields and river beds. Thanks to research by the Warrensburgh Historical Society, we know something about the Aldens, a family of masons who helped build Camp Santanoni, Camp Uncas, Sagamore, Kamp Kill Kare and many other widely recognized places in the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Pendragon Theatre’s Young Playwrights’ Festival April 2

NCPR Young Playwrights' Festival 2014 (1) image 1Earlier this winter Saranac Lake’s Pendragon Theatre once again rolled out the red carpet and offered free playwright workshops for students. These professionally run workshops helped students streamline their original submissions to the annual Young Playwright Festival. Through the Young Playwrights’ Festival, Pendragon Theatre is not only making the stage come alive for young adults, but their words as well.

“This year we offered writing workshops leading up to the Young Playwright Festival,” says Managing Director Tara Palen. “We thought it made more sense to help the students construct their submissions before the deadline.” » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Vote For The 2016 Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Theme

saranac lake winter carnival logoIn keeping with the tradition of the community event, the public is welcome to vote on next year’s Saranac Lake Winter Carnival theme.

Winter Carnival Committee members recently chose five potential themes at their annual organizational meeting. Members pooled together a list of more than 60 theme ideas, some that were resubmitted from past years and others proposed from the community this year.

The five potential themes are: Under the Big Top, Wizards and Dragons, Adirondack Wildlife, Beach Party, and Adirondack Fiesta. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Anne LaBastille’s Lands Donated To Forest Preserve

Anne LaBastille at Sagamore (courtesy Lorraine Duvall)The estate of author, conservationist, and former Adirondack Park Agency commissioner Anne LaBastille has donated her 32-acre “West of Wind” property on Twitchell Lake, north of Big Moose in the Western Adirondacks, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

LaBastille, the famed writer and conservationist who died on July 1, 2011, envisioned that her land be protected to “preserve the natural, ecological, and historical integrity of my 30 acres of North Country wilderness, where writers can find inspiration in the Adirondacks.”

Anne LaBastille inspired many through her writings and work to protect wildlife and wild lands. Her autobiographical Woodswoman (1978) chronicled her journey from urban New Jersey to cabin dweller on an Adirondack lake. She lived without electricity, running water, or even a road to her 12′ by 12′ “West of Wind” cabin she built with friends and neighbors in 1964. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Sandy Hildreth: The Anguish of March

patterson_globalwarmingMarch is normally the time of year, at least here in the North Country, when we suffer anguish over which season we wish it would be. I go through it every year, part of me wishing for spring and the other part holding out for more snow. I know there are people out there like me who still wish we had more opportunities for cross-country skiing. There is nothing sweeter (except maybe maple syrup) than a spring ski on a warm March day, with fresh powder, bright sun, and brilliant blue skies. Tree tops pinkish orange with buds ready to burst into new growth.

But this year without a winter is even worse! I feel so cheated. My friend, artist Valerie Patterson, communicates how I feel perfectly in her watercolor painting, “Global Warming”.  A lot of us who live here do so because we embrace and enjoy outdoor recreation in all seasons of the year. I’m sure no reminders are needed about how sparse our snow was and how warm the temperatures averaged. My Adirondack Artists Guild colleague Burdette Parks announced the ice went out on Middle Saranac on St Patrick’s Day this year – the earliest he and his wife, Fran Yardley, can remember. They reported the water stayed open much later this winter as well. » Continue Reading.


Friday, March 18, 2016

Sagamore Launches Adirondack Traditional Music Program

Great Camp Sagamore in Winter Musicians and music lovers have gathered at Great Camp Sagamore for decades. This June 17-19, Sagamore is starting a program to support the development of a new generation of musicians to promote Adirondack traditional music.

Dan Berggren, Peggy Lynn, Dan Duggan, John Kirk and Trish Miller will lead the Roots & Branches Workshop. Young musicians from around the region are invited to apply for this program, funded through the Sagamore’s newly-established Music & Trails fund. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Artists Fill Adirondack Plein Air Festival Spots

plein painterThe registration form for the 8th Annual Adirondack Plein Air Festival was posted on the Saranac Lake Art Works website at midnight on Monday, February 29th and the quota of 50 artists was reached by 7 am, March 1st.  The Plein Air Festival will take place August 15-20 in Saranac Lake with artists traveling from around the eastern United States and Canada.

Massachusetts artist John MacDonald is the Juror of Awards for the event. He will also be offering a plein air painting workshop on Sunday and Monday, August 14-15, prior to the Festival.

New York artist Frances Gaffney has been added to the workshop schedule, with “The Art of Expressive Drawing.” Participants will explore artists’ processes, build professional drawing tools and techniques and explore new ways of seeing. Drawing will be outdoors weather permitting. Registration information can be found on the Saranac Lake Art Works website. Both workshops require a $50 deposit to reserve a spot and participants do not have to be registered for the Plein Air Festival. » Continue Reading.


Monday, March 14, 2016

Our Town Theatre Group To Present ‘Morning’s At Seven’

mornings at sevenOur Town Theatre Group will begin its 20th Season with a performance of Paul Osborn’s “Morning’s At Seven.” Focusing on four aging sisters living in a small Midwestern town in 1938, the play deals with the ramifications of two of them questioning their lives and deciding to make some changes before it’s too late.

The cast includes OTTG regulars and new actors as well. In the roles of the four sisters are Mary Ellen Dowling of Blue Mountain Lake, Maryann Sauro of Chestertown, Judy Stafford of North Creek, and Mary Anne Gruen of Warrensburg. Their husbands are played by Dennis Wilson of Chestertown, Mike Corey of Minerva, and Arthur Gruen of Warrensburg. John Gable of Lake George and Kim Smith of Wevertown are the perpetually engaged couple Homer and Myrtle » Continue Reading.



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